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Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained

Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained


The people of Hong Kong are out in the streets. Hundreds of thousands are demonstrating against
a deeply unpopular bill. But this is about a whole lot more than a bill. It’s about the status of Hong Kong
and the power China has over it. It’s a fight to preserve the freedoms people
have here. And it all started with a murder. On February 8, 2018, a young couple, Chan
Tong Kai and Poon Hiu-Wing, went from their home in Hong Kong to Taiwan for a vacation. They stayed at the Purple Garden Hotel in
Taipei for nine days. But on February 17th only one of them returned
to Hong Kong. There, one month later, Chan confessed to
murdering his girlfriend, who was pregnant at the time. But there was a problem. Hong Kong authorities couldn’t charge him
for murder, because he did it in Taiwan. And they couldn’t send him back to Taiwan
to be charged, because Hong Kong and Taiwan don’t have
an extradition agreement. So in 2019, Hong Kong’s government proposed
one: it would let them transfer suspects to Taiwan so they could be tried for their crimes. But the same bill would also allow extradition
to mainland China. Where there’s no fair trial, there’s no humane punishment, and there’s completely no separation
of powers. And that’s what sparked these protests. China and Hong Kong are two very different
places with a very complex political relationship. And the extradition bill threatens to give
China more power over Hong Kong. See, Hong Kong is technically a part of China. But it operates as a semi-autonomous region. It all began in the late 1800s, when China
lost a series of wars to Britain and ended up ceding Hong Kong for a period of 99 years. Hong Kong remained a British colony until
1997, when Britain gave it back to China, under a special agreement. It was called “One Country, Two Systems.” It made Hong Kong a part of China, but it
also said that Hong Kong would retain “a high degree of autonomy,” as well as democratic
freedoms like the right to vote, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, of assembly. And that made Hong Kong very different from
mainland China, which is authoritarian: Citizens there don’t have the same freedoms. Its legal system is often used to arrest,
punish, and silence people who speak out against the state. But according to the agreement, One Country,
Two Systems wouldn’t last forever. In 2047, Hong Kong is expected to fully become
a part of China. The problem is, China isn’t waiting
for the deal to expire. Under the rule of Chinese leader Xi Jinping,
pro-democracy leaders have already been arrested in Hong Kong. And mysterious abductions of booksellers have
created a threat to free speech. But Hong Kong has been pushing back. In 2003, half a million Hongkongers successfully
fought legislation that would have punished speaking out against China. And in 2014, tens of thousands of protesters occupied the city for weeks to protest China’s influence over Hong Kong’s elections. Now, Hong Kongers are fighting the extradition
bill, because the bill is widely seen as the next
step in China’s encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy. The sheer size of these protests shows you
just how much opposition there is to this bill. But if Hong Kong’s legislature votes on
the bill, it’ll probably pass. And that’s because of the unique nature
of Hong Kong’s democracy. For starters, Hong Kong’s people don’t
vote for their leader. The Chief Executive is selected by
a small committee and approved by China. And even though they’re the head of the
government, they don’t make the laws. That happens here. Like many democracies, Hong Kong has a legislature,
with democratically elected representatives. It’s called the Legislative Council, or
LegCo, and it has 70 seats. Within this system, Hong Kong has many political
parties, but they are mostly either pro-democracy or pro-China. In every election, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy
and anti-establishment parties have won the popular vote. But they occupy less than half of the seats
in the LegCo. This is because when Hong Kongers vote, they’re
only voting for these 40 of the 70 seats. The other 30 are chosen by the various business communities of Hong Kong. For example, one seat belongs to the finance
industry. One seat belongs to the medical industry. One belongs to the insurance industry. And so on. Many of these 30 seats are voted on by
corporations. And because big business has an incentive
to be friendly with China, those seats are dominated by pro-China political parties. When Hong Kong was handed over to China in
1997, Hong Kong and China made an agreement that eventually, all members of the council
would be elected by the people. But that never happened. And ever since the handoff, pro-China parties
have controlled the LegCo, despite having never won more than 50 percent of the popular
vote. The way it’s structured, they want to make
sure that the executive branch can have easy control over it. And that would serve Beijing very well indeed. Within this unique structure, the extradition
bill has created new tensions and fueled anger among pro-democracy politicians. And it’s driven hundreds of thousands of
Hong Kongers into the streets. While this isn’t Hong Kong’s first protest
against China’s influence, it is the biggest. And many say this time is different, because of the people involved. Professionals like lawyers and politicians are participating. Our legal sector staged their biggest ever protest parade. But it’s young people who are at the forefront,
since they have the most to lose. They are the first generation born under One
Country Two Systems. And in 28 years when that arrangement ends,
they’ll be Hong Kong’s professional class. I won’t be around anymore. It’s their future. It’s their Hong Kong. They have every
right to fight it. The protests have convinced Hong Kong’s
government to suspend the bill. But that’s not enough. Many want the bill withdrawn completely. That’s because these protests are also part
of a larger fight. To push back against China’s encroachment
now, not just when time’s up. 2047 is on its way. But it’s not here yet. And until then, Hongkongers still have a voice. History will tell whether we succeed, but even if we failed, history would say they did put up a fight and they didn’t just take things lying down. And that’s what we’re trying to do too.

100 thoughts on “Hong Kong’s huge protests, explained”

  1. This is what Americans needs to do . To proved all these millionaires and billionaires get away with abusing and trafficking kids. I'm sure a lot of missing kids linked to the elite

  2. One more reason I'm glad our founding fathers had the forethought to include the 2nd amendment to protect us from government tyranny

  3. China should have realised taking away rights that are already in place will for sure cause a massive protest. I think China should have re leased Hong Kong to the British because no one that has these democratic freedoms would give them up laying down they are going to fight for these rights.

  4. Oh these naive people in the comment section, thinking their so called freedom is anything but trading one evil for another.

  5. The western countries have done everything possible to smear China, making people in the west feel that the Chinese government is dark and people live a life without freedom and democracy. This is what western governments want. Many wars are instigated by western countries.

  6. I think the majority of us in the US support hong kong, i wish we could protest like this in the US just like in hong kong its the politicians and business men vs the people and we too are losing our rights.

  7. This is news that western governments want people to see, not the truth. It is full of subjective opinions. Do you know China? Have you ever been to China? This is a smear campaign by western countries against China! Look at how other countries treat violent demonstrations. They are all under the banner of freedom and democracy.

  8. Every country has dark places. Are you noble? Don't forget how your ancestors slaughtered the Indians. How did blacks come to America before? The hypocritical U.S. government

  9. who would you seek if you out of there and miss your passport?which one ?your mam?haha you will cry like bady . only China will protect you🇨🇳🇨🇳🇨🇳🇨🇳🇨🇳🇨🇳🇨🇳🇨🇳🇨🇳🇨🇳

  10. I have lived in China for 17 years, and I have never felt any pressure on me. On the contrary, I have thought about the fuse of Hong Kong's mob parade to protect a murderous and arson monster. The inconceivable logic is that Chinese mainlanders around me worship their supreme leader 99.99, and people support Xi Jinping. Fanaticism is unimaginable to Americans

  11. Why China is talking about Kashmir (INDIA), which is the inner matter of India…China should solve their inner matter instead of others.

  12. National Univ. Of Singapore professor Zheng Yongnian said: "The key issue of Hong Kong is that international forces do not need to be responsible for Hong Kong riot and these forces are not constrained by Hong Kong laws neither. On the contrary, they can influence Hong Kong justice. …… This is a very serious system dislocation. The central government respects one country, two systems. But Hong Kong's judicial power is not in the hands of the central government. Then, is it in the hands of Hong Kong people? Of course not! there is no such thing. So the police force arrests people and judges just release them.” He said that the rule of law is indeed the core value of HK, but it is in the hands of foreigners, not local HK people.

  13. 我是一个中国人,我从来没有像今天一样热爱过我的祖国,他像所有国家一样由千疮百孔,正在变得越来越好,而且只会更好!因为我也在变得越来越好,我能在这个国家里面看到希望,我的努力是有回报的。我一手一脚用我自己的辛勤和汗水,为我和我的家人的未来去努力!我在一个和平法制的社会里面,这个国家没有让我面对战乱和杀戮,我的很多同学和朋友都已经是这个社会里面的中坚力量,他们也是有理想有抱负,有坚持的人。从不相信人类历史上有着最完美的体制,我只相信人的本性!如果您肯试着去了解,而不是让所谓的中立媒体代替你的眼睛,中国并不是你们口中的怪物猛兽,中国是由每一个单独的人构成的,这里面包括我和我的家人和我的朋友和我的同学,我不知道你们是善意的还是无知?一定认为我们都活在水深火热之中,请放心,我们过得很好!也希望世界那端的你们也过得很好,有机会自己过来看看,我们没有活在中世纪!

  14. With the Hongkong situation gloated over by Media and those "Careless Audience", those who care about Hongkong are working hard and trying to get back to their normal lives. God Bless Hongkong

  15. The comment section said that these Hong Kong opponents are carrying out "reasonable protests" foreign friends, I hope this so-called "reasonable protests" in your country more than once. Don't you say we don't have freedom and human rights in China? How about we send these rioters to your country so that you can have a good experience of what you call "freedom and human rights"?

  16. This situation is a WWIII waiting to happen. The West will not let HK fall (and HKers will fight for their rights) and China will not back down unless it is beaten down.

  17. If there is freedom of speech, why reject pro-china speech? BTW, innumerable mistakes in Chinese right and freedom!!!

  18. Do these Youngster understand and knows that China is supporting Hk with all the water , electricity and other foods such as porks chickens, ducks, vegetables etc. Hk is just a commercial city with no natural resources.

    The British did not plan anything for Hk . So why fight and go against the hands that had been supporting and feeding you

    Its Time China temporary stop exporting pork and chickens to Hk and remind them its China who is feeding them. All These young protesters take things for granted and don’t understand the basic needs of survival and who are the ones supporting them

  19. The world should be worried about the brutility and attrocities done by India in kashmir and locked down whole population through a force..# Free Kashmir.

  20. If china isn't greedy they would let hongkongers to live happily and wait for the agreement to expired not to hrras them.

  21. Get this right. What are you guys trying to achieve? What started this bill? Isnt that fair? Otherwise the murders can just go back to HK? Do Hong Kongers know what they are protesting?

  22. I live in mainland China and it’s interesting to see how the western world describes this situation. It’s surprising to me that people actually think that they are peacefully protesting , if you actually are interested, feel free to see some of their protesting versions, they have taken over the airport so the airport can not function, they beat anyone that they suspect to be a police, they use laser tags to disturb polices and in general the civilians. They wear masks because they know what they are doing is wrong, they don’t realize what they are doing is not peaceful protesting , instead they are jeprodisring the safety of society and cross area relationships. And most Hongkong citizens disagree with these teenagers in black and repeal them for what they have done, but interestingly none of the western media is pointing this out🤔🤔🤔which again, struck me as a surprise. I’m not giving out an opinion, I’m merely stating facts that people living out side of China may not know.

  23. I just want to say that is voting for leader really democracy? it's a false perception. look how Urkaine ended up after their revolution!

  24. This was the best explanation of the protests by far! Good job! BTW, history will tell, unless it is white-washed.

  25. Britain foolishly handed Hong Kong over to the criminals that are the Chinese government which can NEVER be trusted.

  26. In every nation there is a spark, of justice, of courage. A desire for freedom. It takes a small incident to start this fire of protest . Once the government can no longer stop it becomes a revolution. I believe one this fire of democracy will be in every nation. It is only a matter of time.

  27. This is what happens when a large enough population in an opressed country gets a good taste of freedom.

  28. I have heard on other reports that at the airport the protesters took hostages and were violent. Cannot condone harming innocent bystanders. This video shows the protest all peaceful. What is the truth on this issue?

  29. i like how peopler involved in politics. thanks to everyone for coming out. im just here worrying about my bills.

  30. wonder what the murderer be doing now.. he started a revolution.. if he can't be charged is he protesting too??

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